The 16th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party defined the policy agenda for 2002. Hu Jintao succeeded Jiang Zemin as Party general secretary but Jiang retained the chairmanship of the Central Military Commission. Politically, the Chinese leadership gave special emphasis to stability, and continued to combat the Falungong and crack down on dissent on the Internet. In the economic sphere, China enjoyed another year of rapid growth and largely complied with the first-year requirements of its WTO membership. Restructuring and regulatory reforms in major industries accelerated. In the face of major worker protests, populism dominated social policy, with greater assistance to the poor and a crusade against tax evasion by the new rich. Major fiscal reforms were implemented. China enjoyed stable relations with the world's major powers but its ties with North Korea came under strain.
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